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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just thought I'd get some ya'lls advice. I have a '77 CJ-7 w/304V8, qtrac, th400. I have spent the last year and half fixing it up, just to keep it running and dependable. I have about $5000 in it and would like to do some mods/upgrades (lift, tires, gears,...) but lack funds. The biggest thing holding me back is that the frame is in bad shape. Lots of rust, cracks along the bottom weld, etc, etc. I am debating trying to sell it and pick up another one w/a better frame. I love this jeep and even like the qtrac, but can't find a decent frame at a decent price and know that even if I do it will cost me a lot more than just a frame once I start tearing it all down. The body on mine is in fair shape (a few patched floors and such), but has a nice paint job (previous owner). What do you all think, sell and start over, or wait for more money and a good frame and restore/upgrade this one? I know this isn't much to go on but would appreciate any opinions. You can reply here or email directly at [email protected]
Sorry this is so long.
Regaard,
fratt77cj7

fratt
 
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I'm in the same boat as you when it comes to the frame. I've decided to keep my Jeep (1980 CJ7) and do a ground up modification. I will either buy a cheap used frame in good condition, or get a loan and buy a Matkin frame with the coil spring suspension included with it. I have a fiberglass body on mine and it still looks great, so this is one reason I am doing the rebuild. I am also thinking about getting a doner Chevy truck and taking it's engine and axles and putting them under my Jeep. My thinking is that this is a perfect time to do all the modifications that I want since to put a new frame under it everything has to come off. Remember Jeeps are built not bought. Anyways if you buy a new one you will still want to modify it.

Tim Springer
1980 CJ7
 

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Just a guess but I'd say it would also probably articulate (flex) better than leafs, but not sure...

Tim
"The_Sandman_454"

/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif '79 Suburban 4x4 454, 6" lift, 35x12.5s & '85 GMC S15 4x4
 
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http://www.printandgo.com/matkins is their web site. The coils give a soft ride, but they aren't very affordable. For the frame and the coil suspension it is $3795. For the frame with coil fronts and YJ leaves in the rear it is $2995. The kit gives you about 5.5 inches of lift, but the coils can be adjusted. I've been talking to them for a while and it sounds very interesting and relatively cheap (as compared to warns suspension only). If you need more info ask me or call them. They were very helpfull.

Tim Springer
1980 CJ7
 
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As for the flex issue the coils have an ADA of 22.5 and 12 inches of travel up front and 10.5 inches in the rear. They don't publish a RTI number, but a CJ5 with stock axles can ramp anywhere between 880 and 1092 depending on tires, etc. Any other questions.

Tim Springer
1980 CJ7
 

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#1 Advanced frameworks also has frames (maybe not as deluxe) for reasonable prices.
#2 What you must remember is that you will mostly likely end up spending more on your new (used) jeep that you buy, than you anticipate from the asking price. No matter how much you kid yourself, you will end up finding things you don't like & want to change & it will make you feel a little sick. I know, were in the same spot with our 78 CJ7 in regards to our frame (spring hangars have ripped off), We need a jeep to plow snow in the winter, so we bought an 85 CJ7 with 35,000 original miles, for $3700, figuruing it wouldn't have to spend much more that the cost of the vehicle ... wrong! (Weve spent about an additional $500-750 in for the 85 in things like rotors, U-joints, new hubs) We kept the 78 & are going to do a frame up at our leisure & as our budget constraints allow. My advice is that, if you have the time, do the resto, it will be your jeep & you won't be kicking yourself later for missing something about it that isn't on your new jeep. Good Luck! If you do get a new (used) jeep be sure to allow yourself plenty of extra money for unexpected things. /wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif
 
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I'd have to agree if your jeep is running look into a new frame. It will probably be cheaper in the long run. As it is uaually cheaper to stick with what you got. As my dad feels is necessary with his 77 f100/wwwthreads_images/icons/blush.gif, but when he does finally decide to rid him self of it, I will be claiming the T18 for my next jeep which is going to be a total restro, once I done school and can afford a hobby other than drinking/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif. Any jeep is going to need brake work, have carb problems and have a mess of rust to deal with.
-Mark
PS those Matkin frames look sweet

80 CJ-7 Laredo 304v8 TF999 3.73's BFG M/T's
 
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I looked into both the Matkins and AFW frames and was unsure about which one to go with ,fabricated or mandrel bent.After many phone calls I decided on the AFW,I liked the fact that they were jig welded and were willing to work with me on custom options at reasonalble costs.so holding my breath I bit the bullet!after nervously waiting, my frame was delivered Wednesday!
Much to my surprise so I was very pleased with the quality of workmanship and attention to detail of placement for the holes, mounting brackets,and etc.
granted it is still sitting on jack stands and only time will tell but so far so good.
check out the Duffy Ladd's Jeep.and his approach to articulation this month ,at http://www.off-road.com/4x4web/features/1999/12/a/
it has to be cheaper than the coil set up

JF1
 

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Hey Jeepfreak! Let us know how the AFW frame looks after you start assembling your Jeep. I want to buy one of their frames next spring for a ground up on my '83. It looks like a nice unit and at a VERY reasonable price, but experience is always better than pictures. They advertise that they stress the fact that this is a direct bolt on with no modifications necesary for puting your Jeep together on one of their frames. Let us know. Advanced Frame Works web site is http://www.montanajeepframes.com if anyone is interested in checking them out. They also make an all Stainless steel version for around $3000.

Mike H.
1983 CJ-7 Laredo
1999 Dakota 4x4
/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gifo[[[[o
 

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have you ever thought about making your own frame, I know it might be differcult for some but think about it. two rails some crossovers couple holes. you could box the whole think. I was serious thinking about it till I found a free one. If this is a problem junk yards are full of them. $3000 is not really that must for new but the different between new and used to me is the paint job. I really could use $3000 elsewhwere when used run around $500

brownbagg </font color=red>
 
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BEWARE, one persons "good" may be not so good. Be very very careful (and educated) when buying a used frame, but if you can find a truly good one, youll save a boatload of $$

'78 CJ7 304, rust, inspected!/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey all,
thanks for all of the great advice. I guess i am just at the frustrating, in a funk, point regarding my Jeep. I think I'll keep it as it does run and I do love it. I'll just keep looking for a new/used frame within driving distance (that is when i can afford it, xmas time and all) : (
I have debated trying to repair my frame but as i do not weld i'll have to find a competent welder to do the work, more $$$. As for the one for sale i would love to get check it out but i am in New Orleans, LA and i have been told shipping is too costly. Thanks again for all the advice and support. it has renewed my enthusiasm for my jeep.
Regards,
rich

fratt
 
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